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Call for Burma Election Boycott

8 years ago749 views

Detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is calling for a boycott of the upcoming parliamentary election in Myanmar.

The Nobel Laureate and leader of the National League for Democracy party, or NLD, is under house arrest, so her lawyer spoke on her behalf.

[Nyan Win, Aung San Suu Kyi’s Lawyer, NLD Yangon Office Chairman]:
"She told us that she was hearing people ask on the radio who the people should vote for in the upcoming elections since their favourite NLD is not running in it. Her answer to this question is the people should not vote if they don't know who to vote for in the absence of the NLD."

Suu Kyi has been under arrest on and off since 1989, before her NLD party swept Burma's first election in 30 years that was ignored by the military.

For this year's polls on November 7 the reclusive regime is supporting a number of small parties and one large organization, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, formed by a group of ministers recently retired from the army.

Critics expect the ruling generals to control the elections to ensure their proxies win the most seats.

A 2008 constitution also grants the military a minimum of 25-percent of the seats in parliament.

A splinter group from Suu Kyi's NLD is running in the election, despite her calls for boycott.

Western countries sanction Burma because of the government's refusal to release political prisoners and change restrictive election laws.

Some democracy advocates say the sanctions impoverish citizens while making the regime more rigid.

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